Blockade briefly stops Pride Parade in downtown Winnipeg

A group of protesters briefly blocked the Winnipeg Pride Parade.

Images from the parade showed a group of people standing in a line to block the downtown Winnipeg event at Portage Avenue and Fort Street.

A news release from a group of protesters says they are demanding that Pride Winnipeg end its “complicity with genocide, divest from corporate pinkwashing, remove police from Pride, and centre QTBIPOC leadership.”

It goes on to say that dozens of protesters took to Portage Avenue, carrying a banner that read, ‘No Pride in Genocide.’

The protesters are calling on the organization to return to the political roots of Pride, adding that there’s been previous calls for accountability by Black and Indigenous peoples, as well others in the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

Chantale Garand, a spokesperson for the group, said Pride Winnipeg has continuously ignored the concerns brought to them by community members.

“We want space for queer joy and safety, especially since attacks on queer, and trans people in particular, are currently on the rise,” Garand said in a news release.

“But we reject throwing a party in our name that’s funded by corporations profiting from ongoing genocides – it is offensive to our collective queer history. We honour that first brick thrown.”

The blockade ended after roughly 20 minutes, with the parade moving again shortly after noon.

In a statement, Pride Winnipeg said discussions were held at the blockade to reach an agreement for change.

It added that it is committed to working with the community, beginning with regular consultations to ensure Pride Winnipeg represents the diversity of all 2SLGBTQ+ individuals. Consultations will start next week.

“Our community is diverse, powerful and vibrant – we commit to ensuring the future leadership of our organization represents that,” the statement said.

“Pride Winnipeg also commits to ensuring that our organization is safe and accessible to all members of our community, prioritizing 2SQTBIPOC representation in roles of leadership.”

Pride Winnipeg went on to say that the protestors were peaceful and expressed their right to protest for change.

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